tv CNN Newsroom CNN November 26, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PST
facebook.com/carol cnn. thanks for joining in, and thanks for joining me today. cnn "newsroom" continues right now with john berman. >> hey, everyone, i'm john berman in for ashleigh banfield. it's 11:00 on the east coast, 8:00 on the west. so if you were a key decision maker in a company that faced a $5 billion hit in a little over a month, you probably wouldn't take ten days off for thanksgiving. but that's how congress rolls. and now with just 36 days remaining to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, senators are coming back to work. the house returns tomorrow. the white house is working both sides of the beltway to maintain bush-era tax rates for the poor and middle class, while letting those lower rates expire for higher earners. this morning, the white house put out numbers claiming if we fall off the cliff, consumers will be spending less money next year. how much less, exactly? $200 billion in fiscal 2013
alone. that would be a huge, huge hit on retailers. now, tax hikes are the biggest part, but not the only part of the fiscal cliff. seeing it as a fiscal cliff, the new year will also bring more than $100 billion in spending cuts, if -- if congress and the president can't agree on some other course. all of this brings me to my friend, cnn's christine romans with details on the toll on consumer spending. we threw out the number, $200 billion. what does that mean? >> it comes straight from the white house, trying to ride the coat tails of black friday weekend when throwing around how much money consumers spent over the past four days. the white house is saying, if these tax cuts go away for the middle class and taxes rise and the amt patch goes away and taxes rise on the middle class, it would dramatically slow growth in gdp next year and would mean $200 billion less in consumers' pockets. what is this right out of the white house report? this reduction of $200 billion
is approximately four times the total amount of the 226 million shoppers they spent on black friday weekend last year. they're trying to show you just how important all that money is in the economy if you have those taxes rise on the middle class. it's really, john, the latest from the white house. it comes on the same day warren buffett writing in the "new york times" in an op-ed saying rich is $500,000 a year, and let's tax them. let's have a 30% minimum tax for the income above $1 million of rich people. look what he said here. the "forbes" 400, wealthiest individuals in america hit a new group record. $1.7 trillion, more than five times the $300 billion total in 1992. he says you know, my gang has done pretty well. so leave the middle class alone. and so these two kind of the 1-2 punch from the white house perspective, at least, today on what we should be doing in debt talks. >> buffett is interesting. he said he doesn't think it will be that big a deal if we go off
the cliff. >> he says don't worry about raising taxes on investments and income from investments. he said, i will do a good deal, because it's a good deal. not because my taxes are going to be a certain rate. so he has pounded this -- beat this drum for some time. but this is the white house, the latest from the white house on the fiscal cliff and how it would hurt the middle class. >> christine romans, great to see you yet again today. can't get enough romance in my day. the white house election shows where the people stand on the economy, the fiscal cliff. but today we have some very specific answers to very interesting questions. cnn's political editor paul steinhauser joins me live. first of all, paul, are people paying attention to the fiscal cliff? >> it seems they are. look at this, a cnn national poll out this morning. and we asked, what will the effect be on the country if it goes over the fiscal cliff? nearly 7 in 10 say major problems for the country, maybe even a crisis, with only about 3 in 10 saying minor and no problems. and john, personally, three quarters tell us they think
their pocket books will be affected if the country falls off the fiscal cliff. >> we've heard both sides fighting. what do americans say they want to see in the deal? >> they want compromise, and what do they specifically want? look at these numbers. two-thirds say they want spending cuts, and some tax increases combined. only about 3 in 10 say just spending cuts. and john, it's interesting. when we asked just republicans that same question, slight majority said, yes, spending cuts and tax increases. >> interesting. do people think there is going to be a deal? >> not so optimistic. look at this question. this was asked by holland, our polling director. he asked, do you think washington officials, people doing these negotiations, will act like responsible adults, or spoiled children? well, i think it's pretty clear what the answer is there. two-thirds said spoiled children. and if there is no deal, the blame game. who will get blamed more? look at this number, 45% say republicans in congress will get blamed. only 34% said president obama
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shopping fdon't wait. coverage? open enrollment ends december 7th. now's the time to take action. call unitedhealthcare today. so with the fiscal cliff fast approaching, it seems some republicans are starting to break ranks. not necessarily with fellow elected officials, but with someone who in the past sometimes held even more power. his name is grover norquist. he's the head of the group called americans for tax reform. 279 members of the current congress signed that group's pledge not to raise taxes ever. but a few of the signers are now saying the pledge is standing in the way of getting a deal done. georgia senator saxby clam chambliss, lindsey graham and corker of tennessee joined the
chorus. this is how grover norquist responded this morning on cnn's "starting point." >> no pledge-taker has voted for a tax increase. they've had some people discussing impure thoughts on national television. however, even lindsey graham, if you listen to him, he would support higher taxes if it was used to pay down the debt. of course, it would be spent. if he got, you know, 10-1 ratios on entitlement reform. i've had long conversations with lindsey graham, and he would -- he says i would raise taxes if, and then he lists this incredible list of reforms and entitlements that the democrats would never give him. and as i suggested, i said senator, you're offering to trade a tax increase for a pink unicorn. >> all right. pink unicorns, part of the fiscal cliff discussions now. let me bring in cnn contributor anna navarro who claims she has never seen me during the daylight. great to see you during the daylight, anna. >> how are you, john?
>> good, i'm doing well, thank you is this over tour, these statements from the people like saxby chambliss, lindsey graham, is this what people are hoping to see in terms of reaching a deal? >> i think it's an important moment. i think what people are saying is, this is not about pledges. let's not allow for the tail to wag the dog. this is not about a pledge. this is about finding a solution. let's not be boxed in. let's have the ability to be creative, think outside the box. and come up with a solution that works for america. and i think they're getting sick of being held to pledge here, pledge there. you know, it's almost like read my lips. no new pledges. >> let me just read the pledge, so people know what we're talking about here. it says, number one, oppose all efforts to increase the marginal tax rates for individuals and/or businesses. and number two, and this can be a doozy. oppose any net reduction or eliminations of deductions, unless evenly matched by reducing tax rates. so anna, what do you think the
consequence is going to be? you've been around politics a long time. what if there are republicans, especially, who do break ranks and vote to raise taxes or raise revenue? >> look, i think it depends, john. there are some republicans who i know who have never signed a pledge. i can tell you jeb bush got elected twice as governor of florida without signing the pledge, and if you ask him about that pledge, he'll say to you and has said in public, you do not outsource your convictions. and there's congress people here in florida who have never signed the pledge. and they are good congress people who get elected year after year, and they're not vulnerable. now, if you are in a vulnerable seat like a saxby chambliss or lindsey graham are, who could be vulnerable in a primary, you can taking some risks, because you're going now against -- it's not a pledge. you're going against basically a washington organization that takes reprisals against people who, you know, don't toe the line. but i commend saxby and lindsay graham for taking this step. i think they have -- they owe
their -- i think they owe their loyalty and their allegiance to their constituents, to their country. i think they need to pledge to -- you know, like lindsey said, we're not going to go broke. it doesn't mean you don't sign a pledge or don't live up to a pledge, doesn't mean you're not against raising taxes. it just means you're not up to signing a pledge. >> but you know, we do live in the real world and you cannot imagine political ads coming out in 2014 that says something like, you know, saxby chambliss promised not to vote to raise taxes. then he did. that could happen. >> well, yeah. but here's the thing. you're talking about guys, you know, in saxby chambliss, peter king, coker, lindsey graham, who have been fiscal conservatives their entire lives. so it's very hard, i think, to make the argument. i think it's silly, also, to have this circular fire squad against good republicans who have been getting elected, and, you know, in order -- i think it's silly to take a circular
fire squad and take him out during a primary, because of some piece of paper that got signed or not signed, lived up to or not lived up to. if, in fact, they are fiscal conservatives, which is the entire point of this discussion. we are losing the point of it. because we're getting so hung up on this, you know, piece of paper. i really find it somewhat silly, the entire thing. >> some people have suggested there is an interesting procedural solution to this idea, and that would be to actually let everything go off the cliff, even just for a day. what would happen then is the tax rates would automatically go up on everyone. again, even just a day. then on january 2nd or oh january 3rd or january 4th, everyone could come back together. they could vote for tax cuts for the middle classes and lower classes, not touch, you know, the people making $250,000 or higher, but then no one would have to actually vote to raise taxes. it would happen automatically. follow what i'm saying? >> i follow what you're saying.
i'm not sure it's easy to follow, though. what what americans need is certainty. certainly, as we head into the holidays, and it's the time for holiday spending, certainty becomes that much more important if we're going to continue the wheels of the economy churning. and, you know, all these types of contortions that washington can come up with seem somewhat difficult to follow for the average american. i think. you know, nothing should be off the table, john, when it comes to let's fix the issue, let's address the problem. let's have a responsible solution that tackles taxes, that tackles entitlements, that tackles the deficit. let's have a comprehensive approach here that is a serious approach, no more kicking the can down the road. let's do it for real this time. >> fewer contortions usually better. i think we can all agree on that. anna navarro, great to see you any time of day. all right, guys, here's the score card for the no tax
pledge. 238 house members and 41 senators have signed the pledge. of those, only three are actually democrats and two of those three democrats will be out of office in january. i love the holidays. and with my bankamericard cash rewards credit card, i love 'em even more. i earn 1% cash back everywhere, every time. 2% on groceries. 3% on gas. automatically. no hoops to jump through. that's 1% back on... [ toy robot sounds ] 2% on pumpkin pie. and apple. 3% back on 4 trips to the airport.
so the heated debate over the possible elimination of susan rice as secrety of state appears to be cooling off. you'll recall that rice was the target of heated criticism from senators john mccain and lindsey graham and other republicans after saying the assault on the u.s. consulate in benghazi libya was triggered by an anti islam video which called chris stevens and three american colleagues. rice says it was based on unclassified talking points provided by the cia. the cia said the assault was, in fact, a terrorist attack. rice, the u.s. ambassador to the united nations, is viewed as president obama's top pick to replace secretary of state hillary clinton, who plans to step down early next year. both senators mccain and lindsey graham previously vowed to block her possible nomination. i'm joined now by dan lothian at the white house for us. and dan, what do we hear from mccain and graham this weekend? it seems maybe they provided a
little bit of wiggle room now. >> it certainly does appear that way. what we're seeing is a change in tone. there had been sort of this harsh rhetoric they wanted to block this nomination, said they would block this nomination. and now there seems to be this tone where they want to give susan rice a chance to explain herself, that they're willing to sit down and talk over these issues with her. at a listen to what senator mccain had to say about this over the weekend. >> i think she deserves the ability and the opportunity to explain herself and her position, just as she said. but she is not the problem. the problem is the president of the united states. >> now, again, we should point out that she has not been nominated for this post, but there's a lot of speculation that she is the top choice from this white house to replace secretary clinton when she departs. also another name, john kerry on that list. but again, nothing definite on that. but nonetheless, this is something that has been getting
a lot of attention, pushback from senator mccain and other republicans, and now that apparent change in tone, john. >> any sense on why we're seeing that change in tone? because the comments really do appear quite different than what they were saying. >> they do. and you know, we've reached out to senator mccain and others and so far we don't have a clear explanation for what's behind this change. i mean, there's speculation that perhaps this is not a fight, that the senator and other republicans wanted to take on right now. but again, have not been able to nail down why that shift. we're just talking a matter of days between that shift. so something had to have come up. we simply don't know yet why. >> right. susan rice did speak for the first time. we heard her voice for the first time last week or for the first time in a while on & maybe that shook thing up. any comments from the white house? >> nothing yet from the white house. we've reached out to a number of folks here. one of the things i should point out, though, is while they're easing up on susan rice, they're not easing up on the white house, and the president. there's still a lot of criticism
at this president about when they decided that this was a terror attack. and when, you know, this sort of change in the narrative. because the white house points back to very early on, the president referring to it as a terror attack. but then after that, a narrative seemed to be this was something that was sparked by this anti muslim video. and then finally came around to calling it a terrorist attack. so there's still a lot of questions from republicans on this white house and coming from senator mccain and others. they want to know exactly when the white house knew what the information, when they knew it, and why they didn't talk about this as far as being a terrorist attack early on. >> it's a great point, dan. they may be easing up on susan rice but not the white house. then again, president obama doesn't need senate confirmation. >> that's right. he doesn't. i mean, this is something the president doesn't need at all. but, you know, again, it's not -- there's so many other things on the plate right now. we're talking about the fiscal cliff.
that's been getting a lot of attention today. that's something that many americans view as a possible crisis, if it's not resolved by the end of the year. those are the big issues that this white house and lawmakers up on capitol hill will be focusing on this week. susan rice, again, as i should point out, has not been nominated. just a lot of speculation she is the top choice to replace secretary clinton. >> all right, dan lothian, great to talk to you. >> okay. >> we'll be right back. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] you've been years in the making. and there are many years ahead. join the millions of members who've chosen an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. go long. since ameriprise financial was founded back in 1894, they've been committed to putting clients first.
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say the specks are less than a millimeter in size. here's what you need to know. the drug is called atorvastatin. that's generic lipitor. it's made by ranbaxy pharmaceuticals and only certain lot numbers of certain dosages are being recalled. you can find out what they are at cnn.com/empoweredpatient. >> you see it's just a little bit of glass, but still, it's glass. any idea how this happens? >> you know, it's not entirely clear. it's not clear, actually at all how this happens. we have no idea. we have been calling the fda, we have also been calling ranbaxy for two days now. and we haven't gotten any answers. but one thing i think, john, americans are sort of under a false impression on is sometimes they think the fda is constantly at each of these plants making sure everything is safe. and that's simply not true. the fda inspects manufacturing plants maybe about every other year on average. so there's plenty of time for something to go wrong when the inspectors are not there. >> you alluded to it before. if you are taking one of these drugs, what are you supposed to
do now? >> this is where it gets a little weird. here's the situation. you would think that this would mean that if you're taking this generic brand of lipitor, you should go to your medicine cabinet and throw it away. but we talked to folks at express scripts, the mail order pharmaceutical company, and they said no, if it's your medical cabinet, you can take it. they said this is a pharmacy level recall, which means pharmacies are supposed to get rid of their stock. but, in fact, you can keep taking it if it's in your medicine cabinet, which i must say doesn't make sense. we called the fda, we asked them repeatedly to clarify. they have not gotten back to us with a clarification. the drug company has not gotten back to us with a clarification. the only thing out there is this statement by ranbaxy on their website. and nowhere does it say that you should throw away what's in your medicine cabinet. so i'm afraid i'm in the unfortunate position of saying i'm not really sure what you're supposed to do if this is in your medicine cabinet. >> that does seem like a really, really confusing message. >> it is. certainly, if i had this in my medicine cabinet, i would be
outrage against egyptian president mohamed morsi this hour shows no sign of dying down. thousands of demonstrators are still in cairo's tahrir square, venting opposition to morsi's move, granting himself sweeping new powers. that triggered days of violent protests throughout the country. some critics claim morsi, who is egypt's first freely elected president is trying to establish a dictatorship. morsi is meeting today with the country's highest judicial authority in a bid to defuse this crisis. reza sayah is live in cairo. what's the situation right now? >> reporter: john, let's bring you up to speed. as we speak, egyptian president mohamed morsi meeting with
egypt's top judges, seven of them representing the supreme judicial counsel. of course, the judges locking horns with mr. morsi right after one of his decrees essentially disabled them. so they're talking. we're going to see what the outcome of that meeting is. in the meantime, the leading factions, leading opposition factions continue to protest behind us in tahrir square. these factions that represent women's rights groups, youth groups, minorities, their position so far has been we're not going to talk to mr. morsi until he reverses his decrees. we spoke to one of mr. morsi's top advisers earlier today. we asked him if that was a possibility. >> what kind of concessions are you willing to make? >> this decision is up to the president for us. >> is it possible to rescind his decrees? >> we have had a dialogue. >> reporter: are you prepared to consider rescinding, adjusting some of these decrees?
>> decree is up to the president and we are accepting it. we may have some reservations. but as a whole, we must take a step to forward, not to backward. >> reporter: as you heard, we pressed them on the why reasonable degree idea of the president adjusting some of these decrees. in his position, as the president is willing to talk. the problem is the opposition factions will not talk until the district attorney decrees are reversed john. >> didn't budge. good job, reza. some protesters targeted the offices of the muslim brotherhood, the political party where mohamed morsi comes from. what's this about? >> reporter: certainly, that's the most violent of the incidents we've seen, is when the anti morsi protesters in several cities have targeted the offices of the muslim brotherhood, we saw one of the
only fatalities take place last night when protesters attacked one of the offices and that's when things get really out of hand. and many of these elements that are triggering this type of violence, john, these seem to be teenagers, 20-somethings, who seem to be out to create some trouble. and that's the big concern leading into tomorrow. of course, you have competing protests scheduled, the muslim brotherhood with the 1 million man demonstration scheduled tomorrow. you also have these leading opposition factions who banded together and called for a 1 million man protest as well, john. >> in one of the most fascinating parts of this today is that this is all happening in egypt while there are ceasefire talks going on in cairo dealing with hamas and israel. what's the latest on that? >> reporter: that's right. of course, the ceasefire between the palestinians and israelis was declared last wednesday. the fighting stopped but some of
the details is yet to be hammered out. and that's what's happening in cairo today, between the israelis and the palestinians with egypt playing the role of mediator. these two sides have to work out a lot of very difficult topics. among them, the economic blockade of gaza, travel in the crossings, and then the alleged smuggling of illegal weapons into gaza from egyptian territory. a lot of tangled topics to tackle. history shows these are not easy issues to solve, but they're going to have a go at it with egypt playing the role of mediator, john. >> thanks, reza sayah in cairo this morning. great work today. thanks. we're also following a remarkable story involving the late palestinian leader, yassir arafat. beginning tomorrow, arafat's body will be exhumed so investigators can figure out once and for all whether the head of the plo had been poisoned. cnn's frederick pleitgen
reports. >> reporter: the circumstances remain a mystery. was the palestinian leader poisoned? a team of international scientists will try to find clues, working behind this, exhuming arafat's body and taking samples for front sick analysis. i consider it a painful necessity, the lead investigator says, to reach the truth in the death of president yassir arafat. arafat tied in 2004, after a short and severe illness. doctors were never able to determine the cause of death. even as his body was laid to rest, rumors began to circulate, yassir arafat might have been murdered. a recent investigation found traces of the radioactive substance, blue loan yum, used in assassination attempts in the past on some of the palestinian leader's belonging. experts from france, switzerland and russia will examine arafat's remains also looking for a possible pulonium concentration.
the samples will be independently analyzed in labs in russia, switzerland and france, and it's unclear when the first results will be made public. in his lifetime, and even after his death, yassir arafat remains a towering figure for palestinians. but despite wanting to know the circumstances behind his illness, not everyone agrees with the exhumation. i don't support the exhumation process, this man says. because the opening of the grave is disrespectful and insulting. >> i have no objection to exhuming him, as long as it is done by professionals and in full respect of the leader. >> reporter: of course, i am against it, he says. it is insulting to the martyr and to the palestinian people. the palestinian authority has accused israel of being behind any poisoning of arafat. a claim the israeli government refuses to comment on. it's not clear if pelonium can
be traced eight years after the palestinian leader's death. but if heightened levels are found, the next question for investigators would then be who is behind yassir arafat's death. fred pleitgen, cnn, ramala. elton john is adding a note of protest to his songs in china. the british singer dedicated his only concert in beijing yesterday to chinese artist and critic aw weiwei. he was detained for 81 days last year without being charged. he has had battles with tax officials who fined him more than $2 million for alleged tax evasion. there's big news. presenting androgel 1.62%. both are used to treat men with low testosterone. androgel 1.62% is from the makers of the number one prescribed testosterone replacement therapy. it raises your testosterone levels, and...
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so it's practically become a holiday tradition of its own. waking up from a turkey coma and heading out to shop for the black friday weekend deals. and, of course, today, after all, it's cybermonday. so much to buy! but seriously, be careful. holiday expenses, they really add up. since thursday, 247 million shoppers have spent, get this, $59.1 billion. yes, that is a record with a b. 13% increase from $52.4 billion last year. and, according to mcafee security, online holiday shopping alone is expected to climb about 12% this year to $96 billion. alison kosik is here with a few tips on keeping your credit card debt in check. alison, is it possible? >> of course, it's possible. even with americans expected to spend well over $1 billion just today online for cybermonday.
with all the deals you can get online today, shoppers, of course, they're reaching for their credit cards. but you really have to be careful. according to transunion, the average credit card debt rose about 5% in the third quarter, compared to last year. that's almost $5,000 of debt per borrower. and the rate of credit card delinquencies, that went up, as well. but what can you do if you get in yoifr head? we spoke with the founder of ask the money coach.com and she says the first thing you want to do is build savings into your budget. is so it may sound strange but she says you need to build a cushion, even when you're climbing out of debt. unexpected things will happen to us all, and with a little bit extra in your emergency fund, you won't end up deeper in the hole. lynnette also says, make your own rules. think about your own weaknesses and how you got into debt in the first place. then set goals to attack those trouble spots. it could mean making bigger monthly payments or sticking to cash when you shop for clothes. and finally use a debt management service. professionals can can help you
consolidate your debts, lower your interest rates and work out a better repayment plan. so some things to think about as you go online, john, today and surf until your heart's content. >> alison, so important to get out of debt if you can. alison costic, thanks so much. appreciate it. to learn more about keeping your debt in check, visit cnnmoney.com. and some history in the making last night in london. a return to the stone age. as in rolling stones. on stage at the o2 arena for the first of five 50th -- that's right, 50th anniversary converts. mik, keith and the gang well into their 60s now and still going strong. ♪ get outta my head ♪ i said hey ♪ hey ♪ you get out of my mind ♪
>> that song is seven years older than i am. speculation is rampant the handful of anniversary shows in london and the new york area might turn into a full-fledged tour. so stay tuned. and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well. of green giant vegetables it's easy to eat like a giant... ♪
investigators now say the giant blast that turned a massachusetts strip club into dust and debris friday night was caused by human error. they say a utility worker punctured a high-pressure gas line by mistake. the explosion was so powerful, people as far away as ten miles could feel it. and at least 21 people were hurt, most of them were emergency responders. now to another gas explosion. this one, however, still a complete mystery. in indianapolis, officials are about to start leveling homes damaged in that massive blast back on the 10th. this completely took out five homes, damaged at least 80 more, and this killed two people in the process. investigators are looking at it as a homicide investigation now.
they think the explosion came from a home that was intentionally filled with gas. one of the damaged homes belongs to mavlis bauer. and i have to ask you some of your neighbors are about to have demolition orders delivered to them. do you know the status of your own home? >> caller: right now they're saying it's structurally safe. now when my contractor gets in there and starts tearing off all the drywall that's cracked and all that, it might not be. i mean, that's for them to decide, once they get in there. >> now, your daughter also lives in the neighborhood. her house, i understand, didn't fare so well. >> caller: her house is scheduled for demo. >> that's amazing. she has nine kids? >> caller: no, two. >> two kids. but they're lucky. they made it out okay? >> caller: yes, they did. a wall fell on them, but they made it out. >> the walls fell in on them. what was that like, did they tell you?
>> caller: no. actually, they're not talking or discussing it. they don't want their kids -- you know, the kids don't understand what happened. their kids are little. they have two. and so they're -- no. i mean, they didn't -- you know -- it shocked everybody. you don't know what's happening. it's just -- it happens and you just have to grab your stuff and go. >> one of your neighbors, janice, sent us pictures of her place. amazing pictures. you can see the fires lighting up right there. you said it's a miracle you and your family survived. what was it like that night -- what was it like the day that happened? >> caller: basically, i thought it was an earthquake at first until the explosion. i thought it was an earthquake. there was a rumble. pictures started falling off the wall. and then a -- then the explosion. and at first i thought something in our house had went wrong. and then when we ran outside, we
saw the lady's house who exploded, we saw it first in flames. >> now, you are not living in your house now. where are you staying? >> caller: i'm actually staying a friend's house who lives -- has owned a house has owned a house the next street over at the very end of the street. they have no damage. we can actually -- we're living in the neighborhood. >> the pictures we're looking at here are still so stunning, so horrifying. it's not something that people go through every day. how have officials been from the town and how about the insurance company? >> okay. our insurance company, they have been fabulous. they've been right on it. they got us a place to stay sunday. they hurried up and found us a place to live because i have something that i do with my family the first saturday at the thanksgiving. as far as the officials, the
policemen and the firemen have been fabulous as far as keeping people out. i mean, there's a lot of sightseers that want to see what happened, you know, and keeping us informed as to what's going on and when we can get in our house. i can't say enough about them because they have just been fabulous. >> one of the really strange disturbing twists in all of this amidst the incredibly disturbing pictures is that this is now a homicide investigation. two people were taken in for questioning, but they were not arrested, and police have been looking at this white van that was allegedly parked in the neighborhood that night before the explosion. did you see anything suspicious that night? do you know anything about this white van? >> i've seen a white van over there over in that neighborhood. i had company that night, so usually i go out in the garage and we don't smoke in our home, and i go out and we opened the garage door.
my mother was at my house. she's an elderly lady, and i didn't go out in the garage that much to smoke, and i definitely didn't go into the garage where i could see her, you know, and at the door, so i just know what happened when it happened. it was, like -- the best way to explain it is you walk into a nightmare. i mean, you wonder when you are going to wake up when it's going to end. >> well, we certainly hope for your sake that this nightmare does end soon. we wish you the best of all holidays and we know that you will pull through this. thanks for being with us. joining us from indiana right now. the site of that just horrible gas explosion. damage to all the homes estimated to be more than $4 million. both local and federal authorities are offering rewards totalling $11,000 for information that leads them to an arrest or a conviction. hmm, it says here that cheerios helps lower cholesterol
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legal news now, and it's a bombshell from the casey anthony trial. really a bomb that was never dropped. an orlando, florida, tv station reports that sheriff's department investigators found what could have been key evidence in the trial, but it never got to the prosecution. wkmg reports that police found a web search for a "fool proof suffocation" on anthony's computer. it was on a separate browser and wasn't part of the initial computer investigation. anthony, of course, was found not guilty of murder in the death of her 2-year-old daughter. she claimed the child had accidentally drowned in the swimming pool. i want to bring in defense attorney and law professor joey jackson. joey, you know, on the surface this sounds big. almost unbelievable. >> huge. >> how could they have missed this, but i guess the question is if it hadn't been missed, if they had found this, if the prosecution had this in their hands, would it have changed the outcome? >> i think this is what we call outcome determinetive.
how powerful would it have been for the prosecution to have evidence the day she went missing of a search that said "fool proof suffocation." i think it's a game changer. it's a huge miss on their part. even more importantly, the defense had this. how could the prosecution not? >> that's right. defense attorney jose baez said he knew about this all along and was actually waiting for it to come up. >> it never did. exactly. so interestingly enough, the question is asked, well, you ho could a defense attorney do that? don't we share information? the answer is yes but no, but here's what i mean. there's an obligation for what we call reciprocal discovery. if i have information, i have to give it to the prosecution so they're not sand bagged. if that witness doesn't testify, i have no obligation to turnover my information, and, therefore, it's fine. it's not an ethical violation. >> so you would have needed a witness that knew about this web search. >> if i were putting on an expert witness to testify as to the searches that were done, then that witness would have to
disclose any reports that they wrote, anything that was written, anything that was prepared. you turn it over to the prosecution. if the witness is not otherwise testifying, then there's nothing for the district attorney or prosecutor to ask about. therefore, not turning it over is fine. >> so if you are the defense attorney watching this happen, you must be laughing the whole time. it's a murder trial. i shouldn't say landfalling, but still. >> interestingly enough, the other point is it's a one-sided system. i say that with caution. say, for example, a defendant gets convicted. evidence lake this is discovered, right? wow. we found the computer. there was a search from someone else. guess what, it could afford them a new trial, right, if the evidence is there and then if there's a conviction, you appeal. but what happens here? the state doesn't get to reopen their case, so as a result, it says, you know what, you found it, a little bit too late. what can you do? >> this is the way our justice system is set up. >> right. right. >> this type of evidence, these web searches is relatively new technology. what's going to happen with this type of thing going forward? >> you know, i think it's powerful because it's like
anything else. it just gives prosecutors another tool to prove their case, and so if you can have circumstantial evidence, it doesn't prove you do it, but, john, the suggestion is there and how powerful is that suggestion if you have something that says fool proof suffocation, and then what was the prosecutor's theory here? it was that the duct tape suffocated her. that would have altered, i think, their whole approach to the case, and certainly you have to wonder whether it could have changed the outcome. >> if you know you have it, which in this case you didn't. how does this not get xhiktd? >> in this particular case what happened was the sheriff's department didn't alert the fbi and other law enforcement entities who were more adept at deeg with this issue than they were. they just took what they had and it could have been discovered had they asked for help. they didn't, and here we have it. >> joey jackson, it's great to have you here. it seems like a big, epic miss. >> very much so. that's an understatement. >> it's an understatement. all right, guys. thanks for watching